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Last Updated: Monday, 11 August, 2003, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
Pirates mourn Manyathela
Lesley Manyathela
Manyathela won nine caps
The tragic death of Lesley Manyathela has robbed Orlando Pirates of "South Africa's premier striker," according to the club's coach Roy Barreto.

Manyathela, known to Pirates fans as "Slow Poison," died when his car overturned just outside Johannesburg on Saturday night, following their 2-1 defeat to Jomo Cosmos in a cup tie.

Barreto told BBC Sport website that Manyathela's loss is a great loss for the club, which is preparing for the new league season.

"Everyone is deeply shocked and distraught at this stage, as we did not expect something like this to happen.

Everyone is deeply shocked and distraught at this stage
Orlando Pirates coach Roy Barreto

"Lesley scored nearly fifty percent of our goals last year and finding a player to replace him will be a big hole to fill," Barreto said.

The former Zimbabwe national coach said the 21 year-old was one of the most talented players he has ever worked with.

"Lesley was the best striker in the country. He had a good sense of positioning and was very accurate in front of goal.

"I'm aware that he had his shortcomings but I believe that with time he would have gone on to become something special for South Africa."

Manyathela scored three goals in nine apperances for Bafana Bafana.

SA mourns Manyathela
10 Aug 03  |  African
Sad end for shining SA prospect
10 Aug 03  |  African

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